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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving, Excess, and the Economy

Thursday for dinner we had turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, collared greens, macaroni and cheese, gravy, rolls, and of course dressing.

For dessert we had lemon cooler cake, angel food cake [for my birthday], sweet potato pie, cool whip, and ice cream.

It was a veritable feast, of excess.

Friday and Saturday most of America got up early and hit the malls, shopping centers, and of course, Costco. For another type of excessive feast, the annual weekend buying spree to get every little boy and girl those special 27 gifts for Christmas.

At the end of the day, we went home, repeated the ritual feeding with the Thursday leftovers and then settled into our own personal food comas, to watch another 6 football games on our 72 inch HD cable connected flat screen televisions.

Over the last few years many Americans have lost their homes, jobs, families, and in some case, their lives as a result of the ongoing economic woes here in the United States, brought on in large part by a need to have more, bigger, and nicer things.

It seems as if we have become insatiable in our desire to have more than we really need.

The problem is we have grown as a nation to depend on it. If all of America was to suddenly decide to live a life based on real needs, as opposed to wants and supposed needs, imagine what would happen to the economy. Just consider the recent set of economic numbers from Washington. Overall they were pretty good. Until you get to new housing starts, which were down.

Many leading economists believe we cannot recover from the downturn until that particular number turns around.

But do we really need more new houses? Are people living on the streets because we have a housing shortage in this country? I doubt it. Yet Americans have grown into an almost cult like belief that we are entitled to everything we want, when we want it, and in large quantities, available only at Costco.

Somehow when President Washington declared Thanksgiving a national day of thanks, I don't think the picture he had in his mind was what the day and weekend has become.

Any thoughts?

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Comments on "Thanksgiving, Excess, and the Economy"


Blogger Beth said ... (8:10 PM) : 

I think we should be thankful everyday for our blessings, and to give back to those in need all year long, not just during the holidays. But as for the national holiday, why I am grateful that we have it is because it does give us the time off from work so that we can gather as a family to celebrate together.


Blogger Doug said ... (5:09 AM) : 

Thanksgiving has become an un-holiday.
Dave, you are correct, it's all about excess now.
And Beth, the best example of thankfullness is how we act and what we do the other 364 days of the year.
We celebrated by traveling through 6 states, 900 miles, 18 hours of driving and all the friends, family and food we could take.
We are definately thankful for the time off to visit with them and to be back home and have a day of "rest".


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (8:01 AM) : 

Beth, I like that too. The extended holiday gives us that chance in a way Doug's comment proves.

Doug, it isn't the un-holiday, it's an American Holiday, replete with all the excesses, which you noted...

Have a great Sunday!


Blogger Lista said ... (11:32 AM) : 

Well Dave,
Unfortunately, what you Described is not so much a Description of my Life any more. We did have a Big Feast, yet we are not Going to be Buying many Gifts this Year and there was no Way I was going to get up at the Wee Hours of the Morning to Fight Crowds at 4:00 AM. Those who Did so were Totally Nuts. Though there were Crowds that Participated in that, I don't Think that it was Really "Most of America". I'm Betting that there are also a Large Number of Procrastinators like myself, yet as I Said, this Year, we will not be Buying much due to Lack of Funds.

Our 32" TV is not a Flat Screen, but it Suits Our Needs.

We Pray Often that the Roof will not Start Leaking and Need to be Replaced and Our Cars are Getting Older.

Unfortunately, Part of the Economy is Based on Spending Money and when People Stop Doing so, it Stresses the Economy.

Those were my Initial Thoughts in Relation to the Post.

I Do Understand your Main Point, though, Dave, because there are Still lots of Other Countries that are Way Worse Off than we are, so we do Need to be Grateful.

Thanksgiving has Actually had an Interesting Affect on me this Year. I am Grateful. I'm Grateful for my Health for One Thing and for my Friends.

I was Actually Thinking about it this Year that it is sort of Neat that Thanksgiving is what Starts the Christmas Season because I was Thinking that we Need to have an Attitude of Gratitude as we go about our Holiday Activities and Remember all that we have, as well as when we Remember the True Meaning of the Holiday and all that God did for Us, by Sending His Son to Die on the Cross for Our Sins.


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